Company culture is a buzzword used frequently across almost all industries. It’s an integral part of an organization and for many people, it can be the difference between sticking with a job or leaving. For the organization itself, company culture is essential to retaining top talent and even success. In fact, Deloitte reports in a recent study, 94% of executives and 88% of employees believe a distinct workplace culture is important to business success. Fortunately, it’s something that can be shifted over time – with the right approach and an open mind. Take an assessment of your current landscape and take notes from these companies who are doing it right. Next, follow these hacks to reinventing your company culture:
Top Down Approach
Everyone must buy in to redefining your culture – starting from the top and working your way down. If you are part of the C-suite and a position of influence, ensure the rest of the team is buying in. Shifting something as drastic as company culture really has to be embodied by the entire organization every single day. It won’t work if the lower level managers are telling their teams it’s ok to do something but the higher ups aren’t participating.
Trust is Key
A major part of reinventing your culture is working hard to change the mindset of, “we must micromanage to be successful”. Micromanagement symbolizes a lack of trust and if you don’t trust your teams, they won’t trust you. Once this is thrown out the window, people will start to feel like they have room to breathe, be creative and do great work. Of course you should hold people accountable who don’t deliver on certain projects, tasks or deadlines. But you hired great talent to work for you – so don’t work against them by not trusting them. Until they give you a reason not to, let your teams run their own show. Your culture will begin a positive shift immediately.
Stick With It
Company culture is major component of the workplace environment and day to day flow. It will not change overnight. Be patient and stick with it. As with many things in life, if you stick with it, you will see results over time and a ripple effect throughout your organization. One idea is to start slow, or introduce new facets of the improved culture a few at a time to optimize receptiveness. Maybe you’ll start with refining or implementing a wellness program, increasing the number of vacation days/incentives and even giving the option of working from home one day a week. Maybe it’s scheduling a team lunch or happy hour twice a month at a local restaurant nearby. Whatever you decide, give it time to catch on and you’ll be pleasantly surprised.
The success of your organization is likely dependent on the productivity, or output, of your teams. A large component of your refining of your culture should focus heavily on productivity. Analyze and work to understand the different ways in which people work. Many people find it hard to be productive for hours on end. A great way to combat this is to allow your teams to take frequent breaks (not a lunch break) throughout the day to improve productivity. Whether it’s to walk outside or something more trendy such as playing online games, it could help them. This recent survey about the lives of gamers shows that the study participants believe gaming fosters productivity. In fact, 54 percent of respondents playing online games at work. Take the time to get to know your team and even ask them for input.
Flexible Working Hours
Another great hack to try is to allow flexible working hours for those who want to take advantage of them. It’s very likely many of your team members are ‘morning people’ and get the most work done before the hustle and bustle of 9 am. Do you allow them in the office early? If they come in early to get work done, are they allowed to leave early? The same can be true for afternoon/evening people. Give people options. This also goes back to trusting your teams – trust them to get their work done on their own schedule, or when they know they will produce quality work. This is a key reason many entrepreneurs branch out on their own – they are allowed to make their own schedule. Some companies are even shifting to a flexible 5 or 6 hour workday for salaried employees. You can start testing this one day a week, such as every Friday, and then refine or expand as necessary.
Company culture is important to every organization and if you aren’t working toward changing yours, you’ll likely be left for one that is.